Ivor Mustangs take title for Southampton Sussex Baseball League

Published 10:16 am Saturday, June 25, 2011

Players from the Ivor baseball team were, from left in front, Reese Arden, Ben Hanscome, John Blum, Liam Lockwood and coaches Jay Billups and David “Buck” Worsham; middle, Darrien Bracey, Jesse Martin, Jayton Billups; and in back, Christopher Priest, Noah Dulaney, Charlie Britt, Blake Kelley, Keith Crocker and Andrew Power. -- Tara Kea

Jesse Martin hits a homerun for the Ivor Mustangs. -- Tara Kea

IVOR—After four years in existence, the Ivor baseball team has won the Mustang Division crown for the Southampton Sussex Baseball League.

The team of 9- to 10-year-old boys has made tremendous strides since Ivor brought back its baseball and softball teams, said coach Jay Billups.

“It was a rough start,” Billups said. “We had some kids who’d never been on a ball field before.”

He attributes the team’s success to the hard work and great support from coaches and communities within the league. The team was winless the first year, won two games the second year, eight the third year and 11 the last regular season.

“Everybody has been very supportive,” Billups said.

Almost every business in Ivor has supported all the town’s teams, either with a banner, or cash donation.

Ivor has 10 youth teams in eight divisions, including two T-ball teams for 5- to 6-year-olds, two coach pitch teams for 7- to 8-year-olds, softball teams for 10U, 13U and 16U and baseball teams in the Mustang, Bronco and Pony divisions.

When the town revived its baseball programs, boys and girls played baseball because of the low numbers of participants.

“It’s really grown in four years,” Billups said. “Everybody has really turned it around and everybody is getting some wins now.”

As far as next season, Billups said about half the team will move up to the next division, leaving the 9- to 10-year-olds — a group that had played together since T-ball with some new players.